Directed by John Lee Hancock.
Written by Mike Rich.
Starring Dennis Quaid.
Release Year: 2002
Review Date: 4/4/02
Yes, I agree that it is sad that the college
basketball season is finally over...but luckily, there's baseball!
My friend Chinh "Bobby" Le took in "The
Rookie" this past weekend, and suggested I check it out. Why? I
love baseball more than any other sport, and as most of you know, I
love the New York Yankees more than any other team. So, along with
movies based on video games, I will go to see almost any movie based
on baseball. The main difference between the two is basically that
video game movies suck...but, baseball movies seem to always bring
"The Rookie" is no exception. This true
story is based on the brief major league career of Jimmy Morris, a
high school science teacher in Big Lake, Texas (population: nearly
nobody) that happens to throw a 98 MPH fastball. While I was
already familiar with the story, the film delves more into Morris'
pre-major league life, tracking his many moves due to an army brat
lifestyle then skipping to his coaching career at Big Lake High
School. As a coach, he tries to turn a band of classic
underachievers into a championship team...but, in return for their
rejuvenated efforts, the team makes Morris promise to try out for a
major league club if they can make the state playoffs. And, the
rest is history!
Dennis Quaid plays Morris and he reminds you
why he once was thought to be a star with huge potential. He
handles both the baseball scenes and the quieter moments as a
husband and father with equal aplomb (note: I have never used that
word before), even if you can't believe for a minute that real-life
Quaid could toss a ball past your grandmother. The supporting cast
in this film is superb, led by Angus Jones as Morris' 8-year-old son
Hunter, Rachel Griffiths as Morris' wife and Brian Cox as Morris'
estranged dad. The score is often rousing and there are magnificent
shots of players on diamonds in the middle of the Texas desert.
And, I'll admit it: I got a little
teary-eyed near the end of the film, just like some of the other
folks around me did. When Morris runs out onto the diamond as a
major leaguer for the first time, at age 36, your heart just tugs
for the guy because you can only try to imagine what it must be like
to play out your childhood dreams. And, since many of my childhood
dreams were like other baseball lovers--have the last chance to save
your team in game 7 of the World Series--it was great seeing a
regular guy get a shot.
"The Rookie" isn't perfect--its running time
is too long for a Disney G-rated film, and some of the lines are a
little too..."written" to be believable--but for baseball fans or
fans of great drama, this one delivers.
Rating: $9.00 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard